Where do you find your happiness? Your first answers will be the most important, and hopefully your answers were not any material items. Material items can make your life easier, more convenient, but not happy. Happiness comes from within. It comes from taking a moment to notice the simple things that bring joy into your heart. Did you know that the heart and brain influence one another’s functioning, and that the heart sends a great deal more information to the brain than the other way around? The information it sends includes heart signals that can influence a person’s perception, emotional experience and higher cognitive functions.
Dr. J. Andrew Armour introduced the term heart brain in 1991. This heart brain, as detailed in his book, Science of the Heart, “is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells like those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel and sense.” Further findings from the HeartMath group demonstrate that “intentionally altering one’s emotional state through heart focusing techniques modifies ascending neurological input from the heart to the brain.” What does this mean for you? By simply shifting awareness to the area around the heart, one can increase their immune function, and physical well-being. The potential for this heart technology is great. By simply keeping the focus on the heart, a world with reduced sickness and disease could be just around the corner.
Start today by whatever works for you personally, meditation is a great practice to enable you to shift the awareness you hold around your heart, as is yoga. However, you may also tap into this feeling of healing anytime throughout the day by sending loving thoughts to your heart and keeping your heart fed with love, happiness and joy. These things are found in the snippets that make up everyday life. Each morning when I wake up the sweet face of my dog greets me, and this gives me joy and lifts my heart. I try to hold his face in my mind and send these feelings of joy he provides when I am confronted with the less than savory aspects of life, like being cut off by a car on the highway, being late for an appointment, friends being less than thoughtful (or your perception of this). Find some small thing or things that give you joy and hold those thoughts in your heart. You will be creating your own well-being and blossoming your heart health.